Well friends, we've arrived. For the last two months I've been exploring the topic of minimal + ethical fashion, and it's been amazing. I've gotten so many comments, both here and on Instagram, and several of you have mentioned that you've purchased from the brands and shops I've shared about. That truly makes me misty-eyed!! The idea that by sharing something I'm passionate about, someone else might become passionate, too, or just choose to make one small choice for a more ethical option, is incredible. Because all those small choices DO add up and it WILL change the world.
For this last post, I wanted to answer a few questions I've gotten, as well as share my actual current wishlist from the shops I shared in my last post. I know there were a ton of places listed, and many people asked for a highlight list they could maybe start from. So if that's what you're looking for, scroll down!
First, some frequently asked questions.
- What about gifts? When I receive a gift of clothing, or when someone gifts Xavier or Matt clothes, I graciously accept it and write a sincere thank-you note. that's it. Because I am grateful. I'm grateful they put thought into a gift for me. I'm grateful they spent time picking out something they thought I would love. It is never my intent to be legalistic about my minimal/ethical goal. Whether you keep the item forever and ever is another matter entirely - your home is YOUR domain, and you should feel freedom to let go of items you don't want to keep and do that freely, without guilt. Whether that's clothes or tchotchkes, I don't think our houses should be cluttered with things we don't love simply because we feel obligated to keep them. But, like I said, that's an entirely different matter and one I won't get into here :)
- Why fashion? There are so many other more important issues. I don't have a cut-and-dry answer for this one because yes, there are SO many issues to get fired up about in our world. Clean water. Orphan care. Food scarcity. Racial injustice. Animal welfare. The list goes on and on. All I know is that the Lord has captured MY heart on THIS subject. Of course, I'm passionate about other things, too. We support orphan care with our monthly tithe, along with an evangelical missionary outreach, our local Catholic church and a non-profit in India who is working to end the cycle of poverty for disabled children and their families. There are one thousand more charities and organizations I wish we could support. But, we all have our roles to play, and God has really convicted me on the topic of ethical fashion. I can't find the source now, but I read somewhere that 1 in 6 workers worldwide are employed in the garment industry. That is a huge section of the humans on this planet, so by changing what is considered "acceptable" in garment manufacturing, there is the potential to positively impact millions and millions of people. That's huge!
- If I buy my clothes cheaply, I have more money to donate to more worthy causes. This, at base level, is also true. But I think this comes down to a difference in ideology and how you view the world. A few years ago, I would have said the same thing. Why spent $30 on a tshirt when I can spend $5 and donate $25 to Food for the Poor? Thanks to my work with The Archibald Project, I've come to understand that efforts at prevention are a far more sustainable approach than simple alleviation - whether that's alleviating poverty, adoption versus family preservation, so on and so forth. Of course, alleviating suffering for the poor in the world is vital - of course. But if we're looking towards long-term solutions for the future, prevention is key. When thinking about ethically made garments, you have to take ten steps backward up the supply chain. By purchasing the $30 ethically made tshirt, the person who made it is paid a living wage, meaning they can provide for their family. No need for a program like Food for the Poor to provide their food. No need for World Vision to sponsor their child's education. Of course, I'm majorly simplifying this. But I think it's important to note that we DO have the capability to break the cycle of poverty rather than spend the next 100 years responding to it. To me, buying ethically is to say to the person on the other end of my garment, "I see you. You have dignity. You have worth. And it's worth it to me to pay more for that dignity and worth to be upheld." Too deep of thoughts to ponder when looking at tshirts online? Maybe, maybe not. Important thoughts, regardless.
If you have more questions, send them my way! I love having open conversations about this topic and would be so glad to discuss it more beyond this series!
And now, my ethical wishlist:
- Effortless gray tunic from The Flourish Market - looks so great for pregnancy + postpartum!
- Classic striped tee from Krochet Kids with a lovely, drapey shape (postpartum winner!)
- Cozy fleece pullover from Nordstrom (made in USA) - looks awesome for chilly winter days!
- This loungey gray maxi from The Flourish Market will be awesome for a postpartum summer.
- Marled gray crewneck sweatshirt from Everlane, a classic layering piece.
- I've been looking for a raglan tee everywhere, and this one from Homage Classics looks perfect!
- This isn't exactly monochromatic, but I've been eyeing this gorgeous floral maxi from The Flourish Market. It would be so pretty for spring maternity photos!
- A pretty blush top with a super flattering peplum shape, from Elegantees.
- Summery striped tee from Everlane - I'm such a sucker for stripes!
- Comfy looking sweatshirt skirt from Garment Collective. A fall/winter staple!
- Classic black skinnies from Nordstrom (made in USA). These have been on my list forever.
- You can't go wrong with a basic black sweater, and this one is made responsibly in Kenya for Slumlove Sweater Co.
You guys, thanks so much for sticking with me on this series. I'm so grateful!! It's been so fun and I'm excited to keep sharing more on this topic in the future! xo!
PS, if you missed any of the posts in the series, I've linked them all for you below!
- Minimalist fashion: an intro
- Minimalist fashion: my full wardrobe
- Minimalist fashion: minimal storage
- Minimalist fashion: outfit ideas
- Minimalist fashion: a few truths
- Minimalist fashion: my commitment to ethically made
- Minimalist fashion: ethical kids' clothes
- Minimalist fashion: ethical shopping resource list